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Coppola snaps up Geyserville winery

Francis Ford Coppola is set to buy Sonoma County’s Geyserville winery from Australian drinks giant Foster’s.

Foster’s, which owns Southcorp wines and the Beringer Blass brand, announced yesterday that it had signed an agreement with the film director’s company, The Coppola Companies.

No sums relating to the deal have been mentioned and Foster’s has declared that it will retain the Chateau Souverain brand, originally bottled at Geyserville.

The deal is expected to be completed in February 2006 with Coppola taking on the winery’s fully-staffed production and bottling facility as well as a restaurant and gift shop.

Fosters decided to sell after a recent review of its businesses concluded that the Geyserville winery was a ‘non-critical asset’.

Coppola, director of the films Apocalypse Now and The Godfather trilogy, has been on the lookout to buy wineries for some time. In line with his ambition to become a ‘first-growth’ producer he acquired the coveted JJ Cohn vineyards in 2002.

Coppola told decanter.com that he was striving to produce ‘an American first growth’.

In this new deal, he is reportedly planning to keep production at the Niebaum-Coppola estate focussed on its flagship wine, Rubicon, and other estate-only wines.

Some production will be transferred to Geyserville and, according to some reports, Coppola is preparing to launch a new range of Sonoma county wines produced there.

Written by Oliver Styles

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